Inside California's Color-Coded, Race-Based Prisons
This story first appeared on the ProPublica website.
In several men's prisons across California, colored signs hang above cell doors: blue for black inmates, white for white, red, green or pink for Hispanic, yellow for everyone else.
Though it's not an official policy, at least five California state prisons have a color-coding system.
On any given day, the color of a sign could mean the difference between an inmate exercising in the prison yard or being confined to their cell. When prisoners attack guards or other inmates, California allows its corrections officers to restrict all prisoners of that same race or ethnicity to prevent further violence.
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